Chapter 11.2.1 Direct emissions reductions

Manage slurry storage better

Establish a requirement that all new slurry stores should be covered from 2024, with all slurry stores covered from 2027.

UK Govt
Scottish Govt
Local Authorities
Emissions reduction
Behaviour change

38% of slurry storage is not covered in Scotland and therefore losing valuable resources to the atmosphere as well as contributing to agriculture’s climate emissions. The Scottish Government should regulate so that newly installed slurry storage must include a cover.

It should be expected that the number of new slurry stores being installed in any one year will relate to a very small proportion of total emissions from slurry storage in Scotland. The main gain in reducing emissions would be achieved in ensuring that all existing stores are covered. In some instances, this will be difficult, meaning that greater capital investment would be required in replacement, but if a clear expectation is established with sufficient time for implementation, it should be possible to reduce emissions from this source.

There are new General Binding Rules on Silage and Slurry but covers for slurry storage are not required by these rules.265

Similar measures are already planned in England, meaning that Scottish farmers would not be being asked to do something that was not already accepted elsewhere. This measure also has benefits in relation to reducing agricultural ammonia emissions, which contribute to local and regional air quality problems.266

For further information:

Marginal abatement cost curve for Scottish agriculture, ClimateXchange, 2020, https://www.


New General Binding Rules on Silage & Slurry – What’s changed?, Farming and Water Scotland, 2022, https://www.


Effects of net zero policies and climate change on air quality, the Royal Society, 2021, climate-change/

Version 1.0: September 2023

The contents of this document will be updated on a regular basis.